WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 

Mamma Mia

Theaters, Actors, Etc.

By Rick Pender · May 23rd, 2007 · Curtain Call
0 Comments
     
Tags:
  Mary Jayne Raleigh stars in Mamma Mia, whichis on the Aronoff stage through Sunday.
Joan Marcus

Mary Jayne Raleigh stars in Mamma Mia, whichis on the Aronoff stage through Sunday.



It's easy to dismiss "jukebox musicals" (such as All Shook Up, which littered the Aronoff stage in March with tepid renditions of Elvis tunes), but the principal reason they've been popular and proliferated is because of the success of MAMMA MIA, which is currently in Cincinnati for a one-week run on the Aronoff Center's big stage. In case you've been asleep since 1999 when this show made it big, first in London and later on Broadway, Mamma Mia takes hits by Pop group ABBA from the '70s and '80s and strings them together with an implausible story about a bride hoping to learn which of her free-spirited mother's three one-time boyfriends might be her dad. It all happens around her wedding on a Greek island. The show engages because it wedges ABBA tunes into situations that only tangentially relate to their original concept, but the connections are often like a good pun -- they make you groan and laugh at the same time. It doesn't hurt that ABBA's hits were rhythmic and melodious -- not to mention a brand of stick-in-your-head lyrics that many people remember. The show has had worldwide success: It recently ran for a week in Dubai, and it's been onstage in Moscow since October. Some estimates for the worldwide viewing of Mamma Mia go as high as 30 million. If you'd like to swell that number, this week is your chance, through Sunday. Tickets: 513-241-7469.

If you haven't been paying attention to Shadowbox Cabaret for the past season, here's a chance to catch up: THE BEST OF SHADOWBOX opens Thursday at Newport on the Levee, providing a sampler of some of the acts that keep crowds coming back to this popular entertainment venue.

It's easy to dismiss "jukebox musicals" (such as All Shook Up, which littered the Aronoff stage in March with tepid renditions of Elvis tunes), but the principal reason they've been popular and proliferated is because of the success of MAMMA MIA, which is currently in Cincinnati for a one-week run on the Aronoff Center's big stage.

In case you've been asleep since 1999 when this show made it big, first in London and later on Broadway, Mamma Mia takes hits by Pop group ABBA from the '70s and '80s and strings them together with an implausible story about a bride hoping to learn which of her free-spirited mother's three one-time boyfriends might be her dad. It all happens around her wedding on a Greek island. The show engages because it wedges ABBA tunes into situations that only tangentially relate to their original concept, but the connections are often like a good pun -- they make you groan and laugh at the same time. It doesn't hurt that ABBA's hits were rhythmic and melodious -- not to mention a brand of stick-in-your-head lyrics that many people remember. The show has had worldwide success: It recently ran for a week in Dubai, and it's been onstage in Moscow since October. Some estimates for the worldwide viewing of Mamma Mia go as high as 30 million. If you'd like to swell that number, this week is your chance, through Sunday. Tickets: 513-241-7469. ...

If you haven't been paying attention to Shadowbox Cabaret for the past season, here's a chance to catch up: THE BEST OF SHADOWBOX opens Thursday at Newport on the Levee, providing a sampler of some of the acts that keep crowds coming back to this popular entertainment venue. Steve Guyer, who originated the Shadowbox concept in Columbus (Newport is their second outpost), says the show isn't a simple recycling of material: "We are reworking and revising these popular moments from top to bottom and creating a show that will be even better than the first time." Among the "repeat offenders" are "Home Time with Gary and Galinda," "Bustin' a Move with Busty Wiggles," "Jason's Scary Stories" and the fairytale-turned-elementary school disaster, "Snow What?" There's food and music, too, so Shadowbox offers a total package that lots of people enjoy with a group of friends. Best of Shadowbox will be onstage Thursday-Saturday through July 21. Info: 859-581-7625.

Mini Reviews
If you prefer light-hearted entertainment, New Stage Collective's THE GOAT, OR WHO IS SYLVIA? is not for you. But if you want to see a superbly acted, searing drama that you won't forget, call for tickets now. There's nothing easy about Edward Albee's award-winning play: A man wrecks his good marriage because of an irrational (and irresistible) attraction to a barnyard animal. Fearless director Alan Patrick Kenny has recruited strong actors for this electrifying production: Brian Isaac Phillips is a man adrift in middle age; Amy Warner is his angry, devastated wife. Their agonizing argument of revelation is one of the most horrendous and convincing I have ever seen onstage. The production has been extended through Sunday. (Rick Pender) Grade: A

New Edgecliff Theatre is presenting Sam Shepard's FOOL FOR LOVE, a surreal play about twisted love and incomplete relationships. The deeper you dig, the more incoherent things seem. It's set in a grungy hotel on the edge of the Mohave Desert. A couple (played by Cat Cook and Nathan Neorr) wrangle, and we learn -- in part from an Old Man sitting at the edge of the stage and drinking from a bottle in a paper bag -- about their troubled history. They've all been "fooled" by love. Shepard's play is about story-telling, truth and lies. This production plays more for humor than depth, but it's always good to see a Sam Shepard play. (RP) Grade: B



contact rick Pender: rpender(at)citybeat.com
 
 
 
 

 

comments powered by Disqus
 
Close
Close
Close